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I paid $$$ – Where is my open access symbol?

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Researchers often pay substantial sums to make the results of their research freely accessible to all. But how to let potential readers know that it’s FREE?  If no one reads your open access paper, it’s like buying someone a gift certificate that they never use. So, the community has agreed on this solution: 

The open access symbol signals to readers that they can expect direct and unrestricted access to published scholarly works. Originally created by PLOS, it quickly gained broad usage on publisher webpages and other sites to identify open access articles. ScienceOpen displays this open access symbol on over 4 million articles.

So how does the open access symbol get there? When a publisher publishes an article, they deposit the article “metadata” – title, authors, abstract, journal, date, URL, etc. with the central DOI service Crossref. Part of the information that they can deposit is a machine-readable Creative Commons open access license. When ScienceOpen imports the metadata information about your publication, it will get an open access symbol if our computers find an open access license associated with it. If a publisher does not deposit license information, we assume that it is not open access. It’s that simple.

So what can you do?

As you put the finishing touches on your manuscript, you can check whether a potential publisher deposits license information by checking their Crossref Participation Report (Beta). If even the word “metadata” makes you want to get back into bed – try asking your librarian for support. They are experts!

If you already paid your APC and your article has no open access symbol, contact your journal or publisher directly and ask them to deposit your license information with Crossref or get in touch with ScienceOpen directly. As a special offer until the end of the year, ScienceOpen will update publisher content for free. If a publisher lets us know that they have added license information or abstracts to their Crossref metadata, we will upgrade those records in the ScienceOpen discovery environment.

Open Access: More than a free pdf

Big data, text mining, machine learning, artificial intelligence – these are the trends in scholarly communication that are shaping the future already. Your open access article is not only free for humans to read, but also for computers. Computers don’t care about impact factors, they care about structured information. They can uncover fascinating connections on the basis of your research. But only if the computer understands that it has permission to read your article – hence the importance of a machine-readable Creative Commons license. You paid your APC so make sure that you get the best possible digital distribution. Celebrate this Open Access Week by making sure you get your open access symbol!

Publish your Preprint at ScienceOpen

Image credit: Fotolia

You can now publish your preprint directly to ScienceOpen. The discovery platform ScienceOpen will put your work in context and open it up to review with a wide range of author-mediated peer review tools.

Preprints, first draft research manuscripts, have existed almost as long as the Internet. Scientists have been taking advantage of online communication to speed up research for almost 3 decades. ScienceOpen understands the importance of allowing researchers to openly share their results with the scientific community at an early stage in their research. The advantage for researchers is that they get early feedback from peers but can still publish the final version in most peer-reviewed journals of their choosing. To support researchers in fully utilizing the benefits of preprint publishing, ScienceOpen is pleased to launch open and free preprint publishing on our platform! With this beta service, anyone can now upload, publish, and promote their preprint using a free and simple interface with access to a full suite of tools for peer review, constructive discussion through comments, and usage and impact tracking.

We have supported the essential role of preprints in speeding up science from the beginning by integrating arXiv preprints on the platform. Records for over 27,000 bioRxiv preprints in our discovery environment followed suit, along with the capacity to add records from other preprint serves such as Preprints.org, PeerJ Preprints, ChemRxiv, and Open Science Framework repositories. Given our belief in the benefits of preprints in advancing science, it seemed only logical to develop a new feature that will enable all researchers to take advantage of preprints in scholarly research and communications.

How can you publish a preprint on ScienceOpen?

Click on the “submit a manuscript” button on our ScienceOpen Preprints collection page. The simple upload form allows you to link your ORCID ID, add co-authors, declare funding, link to datasets, and more. When you hit “submit”, your preprint will undergo an editorial review to check for completeness and basic scholarly integrity, and will then be published on ScienceOpen with a Crossref DOI, a CC BY 4.0 attribution license, and a preprint flag. It is now open for commenting and review.

What can you do with preprints on ScienceOpen?

ScienceOpen has a preprint filter integrated into our search engine, technologically supporting the scholarly community and the role of preprints in research. That way you can easily discover preprints among our 45 million records. To find the preprints you need, simply click the ‘preprint’ box after selecting the filter to restrict your search to them. Preprints can then be sorted by:

  • Altmetrics
  • Average rating
  • Citations
  • Date of publication
  • View count
  • Relevance

You can bookmark your favorite preprints, add comments, share to social media, recommend them to your peers, and cite. You can export your search results up to 200 citations at a time in EndNote, BibTex, and Reference Manager (RIS) formats for easy integration with other reference management systems.

ScienceOpen offers a full suite of tools to peer review and curate preprints. Article reviews, after the model of book reviews, are published with the author’s ORCID and a Crossref DOI for a high level of discoverability. Any user on ScienceOpen can invite another researcher to formally review any preprint. Currently, researchers need to have 5 publications linked to their ORCID to peer review.

Futhermore, ScienceOpen Collections allow editors to add preprints to their collection. These preprints can later be exchanged for a fully published article. Adding preprints diversifies available research on the topic of the collection. Editors can also easily add a missing preprint from our platform by uploading the DOI via the “Request article” function on the user dashboard. Preprint authors are welcome to add a lay summary, thumbnail image, keywords, and disciplines to increase the discoverability of their research within the ScienceOpen environment and the wider scholarly community.

Starting your own topical preprint repository or overlay journal has never been easier!

As you can see, there are many benefits to publishing and including preprints in the ongoing research. Publish your preprint at ScienceOpen today and let us know what you think about our new feature!

Diverse Approaches to Peer Review

Portrait of Albert Einstein in a museum. Source: pixabay.com

Peer Review Week, Sep 10-15, 2018

Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the role of peer review in maintaining scientific quality. This year marks the event’s fourth anniversary of bringing together researchers, institutions, and organizations committed to the message that good peer review is crucial to scholarly communications. This year Peer Review Week on the topic of diversity aims:

  • To emphasize the central role peer review plays in scholarly communication
  • To showcase the work of editors and reviewers
  • To share research and advance best practices
  • To highlight the latest innovation and applications.
    (Source: https://peerreviewweek.wordpress.com/)

Although peer review itself is not as young as the week-long event organized in its celebration, it is still a relatively new invention. Albert Einstein published his original papers in non-peer-reviewed German journals through 1933, most famously in the Annalen der Physik. Max Planck, one of the journal’s editors of the time, described his editorial philosophy as:

To shun much more the reproach of having suppressed strange opinions than that of having been too gentle in evaluating them.

After moving to the US, Einstein was so shocked that his paper submitted to the Physical Review in 1936 was met with negative criticism that he decided not to publish with them at all. Ironically, the paper in question hypothesized that gravitational waves do not exist. In retrospect, peer review saved Einstein the controversy and the embarrassment that would have ensued if he had published his original article.

Einstein’s anecdotal experience with non-/peer review journals both points to the necessity of peer review in quality scholarly publishing and to the danger of excluding scientific arguments from the academic narrative. ScienceOpen bridges the gap between these two opposite approaches by making both preprints and peer-reviewed scholarly articles accessible through its discovery environment with a unified review framework for researchers to evaluate results.

The “preprint” enables researchers to openly share their results with peers at an early stage and still publish the peer-reviewed final version of their findings in a journal of their choice. To help the researcher find preprints or concentrate only on peer-reviewed literature, searches on ScienceOpen can be filtered to view only preprints or may exclude preprints. We are currently tracking preprints from arXiv, bioRxiv, PeerJ, Preprints.org, ChemRxiv, and the Open Science Framework repositories.

Once a preprint has been published, ScienceOpen offers a full set of tools to peer-review and curate the content. Users can organize and manage the review entirely on their own. Found an interesting preprint, but want an expert opinion before using it in your research? Invite a reviewer! Researchers can either review an article themselves or invite an expert colleague to do so with one click of a button on every article page. Reviewers currently need a minimum of 5 records attached to their ORCID. ScienceOpen encourages everyone to openly participate in this process, thereby contributing to the diversification of expert opinions on a specific topic.

The fact that a paper has been published, and therefore peer-reviewed, does not mean that the research should stop. ScienceOpen enables post-publication peer review across 45 million article records, in the form of final-version comments. Article reviews, modeled after book reviews, are published with the author’s name and should provide orientation and an evaluation of the research for readers. Peer review as an open dialogue between experts actively contextualizes the research into ongoing scientific debates and helps researchers gain a deeper insight into a specific topic.

In order to fully recognize the contribution of reviewers and ensure maximal discoverability for authors, ScienceOpen integrates seamlessly with Crossref and ORCID. ScienceOpen has linked users with ORCID from the beginning. Recently, ScienceOpen has been actively participating in Crossref’s development of peer review content registration. In their recent press release, ‘Crossref facilitates the use of essential peer review information for scholarly communications‘, Crossref emphasized the importance of persistent records for peer review and commended ScienceOpen on successfully implementing metadata that enriches “scholarly discussion, reviewer accountability, transparency, and peer review analysis”. Stephanie Dawson, CEO of ScienceOpen, added that rich metadata is key to discoverability – for research articles, preprints, books, conference proceedings, and now for peer review reports. Crossref is making these reviews easier to identify and find, which translates into “more impact for researchers and publishers”. Anyone can retrieve the data necessary for their integration and analysis. As the Crossref press release concludes, rich metadata helps institutions and researchers build a better picture around the role of peer review in scholarly communications as a whole, not only in terms of identifying and assessing their own contributions.

Peer review is necessary to ensure quality scientific publishing, but it still needs to be honed to the greater benefit of the researcher, the scientific community, and ultimately the whole society. ScienceOpen contributes to this goal by integrating rich metadata, featuring preprints, and enabling post publication peer review. We look forward to hearing additional potential solutions to the diversification of the peer review process for a greater impact during #PeerReviewWeek18!

In:  Peer Review  

A new gold standard of peer review is needed

How can something exclusive, secretive, and irreproducible be considered to be objective? How can something exclusive, secretive, and irreproducible be considered as a ‘gold standard’ of any sort?

Traditional, closed peer review has these traits, but yet for some reason held in esteem as the most rigorous and objective standard of research and knowledge generation that we have. Peer review fails peer review, and its own test of integrity and validation, and is one of the greatest ironies of the academic world.

What we need is a new standard of peer review that is suitable for a Web-based world of scholarly communication. This is to help accommodate the increasingly rapid communication of research and new sources of information, and bring peer review out of the dark (literally) ages and into one which makes sense in a world of fast, open, digital knowledge dissemination.

What should a standard for peer review look like in 2017?

The big test for peer review, and any future version of it, is how does the scientific community apply its stamp of approval?

Continue reading “A new gold standard of peer review is needed”